Country Report: Taiwan - Pharmaceutical Executive


Country Report: Taiwan

Pharmaceutical Executive


Alex Ho, General Manager, IMS
According to IMS data, the Taiwan pharma market experienced its first contraction in 20 years in 2012. Growth in this USD 4.5 billion market was negative at 0.9 percent, and the hospital segment, which is particularly affected by Taiwan's reimbursement system, experienced a 2.3 percent decline.

Top 20 list of Multinational companies
Taiwan is a reimbursed market with a single-payer framework covering 99.8 percent of the population. GDP spent on healthcare, meanwhile, is only about 6.6 percent (Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW)). For Chih-Ping Yang, president of the International Research-Based Pharmaceutical Manufacturers' Association (IRPMA), the unifying body for multinational pharma organizations in Taiwan, the math is simple: "Yes, our current system covers over 99 percent of the population. But do we want hamburger, or steak? Do we want patients with treatable diseases to go without help because the state cannot afford their medicine? Everybody wants steak, but the national health insurance (NHI) system has barely enough money to offer our people hamburger. We have to pay more for steak: it's that simple."

Top 20 list of local companies
Dr. Yu-Ray Chen, chairman of the steering committee at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, echoes Yang's sentiment. "The population needs educating on this issue to understand that quality services need to be financed. There is no such thing as a free lunch. The system should not be exploited. In Taiwan, despite a golden era of public healthiness, inpatient and outpatient appointments are growing annually. It is the politicians' responsibility to educate the people and help them to understand that healthcare resources are finite and should be used appropriately."

Maoting Shen, Director of the Pharmaceutical and Medical Reviews, BNHI
The 2012 contraction of the market was the product of the seventh biennial round of price cuts under a mechanism called the Price-Volume Survey (PVS), introduced after the Bureau of National Health Insurance (BNHI) experienced its first deficit. Alex Ho, general manager of IMS Health Taiwan, says that the bureau "tried everything it could to control spending. One of their major tactics was to reduce drug prices—and they have employed this tactic continually ever since."


blog comments powered by Disqus

Source: Pharmaceutical Executive,
Click here